Did the Internet Change the 2016 Election?
Was it the internet, or did you change the 2016 election? Here is a mystery. As you figured out by now, the 2016 election didn’t go as the Socialists campaign managers planned. Months before election day, the media told us that Hillary was the obvious winner. Special interests from around the world donated to her campaign. Things didn’t go as they planned. In fact, Trump earned 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232 votes. Hillary Clinton spent at least 1.2 billion dollars on the campaign while Trump spent only about 630 million dollars. The election results were far more lopsided than those numbers would show. Big Data like Google and Facebook were in in the tank for the Socialists. The mainstream news media spent its credibility as they distorted the statements from Trump and covered up Clinton’s record.
The injustice goes much further. The FBI said Clinton was too big to prosecute for her obvious crimes. President Obama said that his Department of Justice wouldn’t prosecute voter fraud committed by illegal aliens. By implication, Obama’s D.O.J. wouldn’t prosecute vote rigging from Democrat operatives in deep blue cities like Detroit either. How is it possible that Donald Trump won the election in a political and media market where billionaires spent up to 17 dollars per vote in special elections.. and still lost?
You are the answer.
You changed. We’re no longer listening to what the major media says. We don’t get home, read the paper, and listen to the evening news. We have our own news sources. To a small degree, we continued the media customization that has been taking place for years. That means we could watch the type of news and entertainment we wanted. To a larger degree, the communications medium of mass media changed. Today we bypass the publicly traded media entirely.
To overly simplify the issue, Donald Trump tweeted and people listened.
Fracturing of the media market is a long running theme. Decades ago, National Public Radio and Public Television became the voice for ever-larger government. They never saw a problem that more money and regulation wouldn’t cure. The major media largely followed suit for years. Much later, Fox News and Breitbart News finally presented the smaller government side of contemporary issues.
Our consumption of information continued to evolve. Today, you not only choose what to watch and to hear, but we now chose when to listen. Young people get their news from their cell phone on demand. We can search the public record ourselves at any time.
That last change is significant. Though it is now a failing business, the New York Times was once considered the “the paper of record”. Their clipping department cross-referenced old articles. A Times reporter could go the files and look at a politician’s record. The reporter could compare words and actions. He could see what the politician said he would do, and compare that to how the politician really voted. That was a huge advantage to a reporter from a major news service.
Surprise, but we now do that with our phone as we go to work.
As a company, the New York Times hit a maximum share price 35 years ago. Broadcast media suffers from the same market forces. The evening news doesn’t have much to offer us other than giving us beautiful people to watch as they read the news we learned about hours ago. Except for their hourly beauty pageant, we can educate ourselves about today’s events any time we have a free minute.
We did educate ourselves. We understood the contradictions that Obama and Clinton handed us as truth. Facts are stubborn things, and I think we resented the lies.
We can’t underestimate the size of the media revolution. Trump tweeted for free. That is so important that Socialist politicians keep calling to regulate the internet. That said, this election was a very close contest. A few thousand more stolen votes and the results could have swung the other way. Sure, technology changed. Political corruption remains the same.